5 Steps To The Ultimate Time Trial Bike Setup


(ambient tones) (upbeat music) – If you already own
a TT or triathlon bike then you’re clearly thinking
about your aerodynamics and keen to shave some
time off your bike splits. But you shouldn’t just stop there. We have some tips and tricks to help you get that ultimate TT bike set up. (upbeat music) The bike leg in a
triathlon is very different from something like an all
out 10 mile time trail. So we certainly need to
consider our hydration and where we store it all. Now there are a tonne of different places that we can store hydration on the bike. We’ve got on the frame,
between the handlebars on top of the handlebars behind the saddle and even on our back. Now, I wouldn’t suggest the latter but the others are really good options and a little dependent on
the bike that you have. We really need to consider ease of access as well as the aerodynamics. And if we’re truly trying
to save watts and time we want to minimise moving
from the aero position every time we want to take fluid on. Which is why these aero
bottles between the handlebars with a straw are really the best option. And a lot of them are becoming integrated and designed nice and
neatly with the frame. If you want to use a
bottle on the down tube consider using an Aerod bottle rather than a traditional bottle. All these little things help
to reduce the air turbulence. That in turn, improves the aerodynamics. Now you may be wondering
what to do in a long race. You’ll need to hydrate more and if you plan to pick
up a bottle on the course you’ll receive a traditional
bottle like this one. Which is where a cage
behind the saddle comes in like my bike. Whoa, okay, so the cage behind the saddle allows you to hide that
relatively non-aerodynamic bottle behind your own body. You can drink from here but it is relatively hard to
reach around for the bottle. So another option is to
just use it as storage and back up to refill any hydration system that you have at the front of the bike. Hang on, where’s the other bike gone? (upbeat music) You put a tonne of time and
effort into your training to improve your power on the bike. So don’t throw some of that away due to poor bike maintenance. There are a number of
moving parts on the bike that will deteriorate and
get clogged up with time. And the chain is a prime example of that. They’re made up of
hundreds of moving parts so they need looking
after to run smoothly. A shoddy chain can actually waste anywhere around seven to nine watts. Over time, they pick up dirt. They dry out, and they
even stretch with age. Now the dirt can be cleaned and it can be re-lubricated to make it work more efficiently. But the stretching however is just part and parcel of its use really and it can be checked
with a tool like this. And when it’s had its time it simply needs replacing. Now other parts that
will need some attention are the jockey wheels and bearings. The jockey wheels, will just
need cleaning and lubricating in the same way that
we have with the chain. The bearings, in particular
the bottom bracket bearings are a little harder to get to but they do deteriorate with time. Especially if you’ve been
riding in bad weather. Now, a sign that your
bearings are on the way out is that they start to make a
bit of noise when you rotate or it just feels a little bit gritty. So you can maintain the bearings but a lot of the new modern bearings just need replacement. And in my opinion, if
you’re looking to save watts a full replacement is
probably the best option. (upbeat music) generally, these kinds of bikes come with a 52 or 53
tooth large chain ring which may be plenty for some but for others, they may want
to consider increasing it. And on my own bike, I’ve
actually switched over to a 55 tooth chain ring. Which personally, I feel a
little bit more powerful with. And I run out of gears far less. Now you might be wondering what you do if you’re racing on an undulating course or a course that includes a big hill. Well to partner these rather
large gears on the front you can increase your
gear range on the back with a cassette that has a nice variety. And using my own bike as an example again I’ve opted for a 12/27 cassette which gives me a really nice range and quite a jump to the easier gears so should I hit a hill I can just drop down into the small ring and up into my easier gears and get myself over the climbs and the nice thing is it’s a
lot easier to change cassettes than it is to change the chain rings. So you can choose the correct cassette for the course profile
that you have coming up. (upbeat music) Right, the tyre is our
contact point with the ground. So it’s really important we
consider our choice carefully. And grip tends to be the first thing that people think about with the tyre. But there’s so much more to it than that. A lighter tyre reduces the rotating weight which in turn improves the
responsiveness of the bike. And to add to that, a better quality tyre tends to be more supple which again, improves the
responsiveness of the bike. It’s also worth considering
the width of the tyre and different widths will
change the feel of a bike and even its aerodynamics. A 25 mil tyre like this one will feel a little bit
more comfortable than a 23. And it’s actually become
the choice of many pros due to research that suggests 25s have a better rolling resistance than 23s. To add to this, many wheel manufacturers are increasing their
rim width at the wheels to match this slightly wider tyre choice and to improve the
aerodynamics and air flow around the wheel. (upbeat music) Moving along from the tyres onto the wheels. They’re not the cheapest fix but they certainly have a big impact on the bike’s performance. Now we all know that the deeper rims are more aerodynamic and they create less dirty air which is why we see them
on most TT bike set ups. The deep rims also have the added bonus of acting a bit like a
sail in the crosswinds. As the air flows over the wheel and angle it can create a forward thrust effect. Then we have the disc wheel. Not only do they look
good, they sound good. And in the right conditions and on the right course they are the boss of all the wheels. They smooth the air flow better than any. And the sail effect is obviously greater. That said, they are slightly heavier so I wouldn’t recommend them
for the hillier courses. Now we could be here all day talking about TT bike tips and tricks. So I’ve just picked out
a few of the key points that I believe have the
biggest impact on bike times. But please do send in your suggestions in the comments below. And you can see more videos like this by subscribing to Global
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